Two people smiling while looking at a laptop computer screen discuss a preapproval for a mortgage loan. In this era of instant credit card approvals and next-day shipping, you might expect getting a mortgage to be equally speedy. However, while the Internet, smartphone apps and other technology have sped up parts of the mortgage process, getting a home loan can still take weeks. Since homebuying can be a time-sensitive endeavor, your mortgage timeline is important. Read on to learn how getting preapproved fits into the mortgage process and how you can help keep your mortgage timeline as short as possible.

Mortgage preapproval

The first step of the mortgage process is to get preapproved for a loan. Most home sellers prefer to deal with buyers who have completed the preapproval process so they have the assurance that the buyer can afford their home.

Getting preapproved begins with completing a mortgage application. You may also choose to provide your lender with additional documentation up front. With this extra documentation, your lender can more accurately determine your ability to qualify for an acceptable mortgage amount. This can be done without a selected property. It’s also important to have accurate real estate tax and homeowners insurance projections up front so that the proposed mortgage payment is an accurate amount for the area where you are looking to buy.

Once the preapproval process is complete, you will receive a written letter with a conditional approval to borrow a certain amount. This allows you to shop for homes at or below that amount. The letter should be good for around 60 to 90 days.

Mortgage application and final approval

Once you’ve made an offer on a home and the seller accepts, it’s time to proceed with the rest of the mortgage process. In this portion of the process, you will work with your loan officer to have your mortgage application completed specifically to match the property you have decided to purchase along with providing any supporting personal documents that are still needed. Your application will be processed, and an underwriter will review the contents for accuracy.

Your lender will also have the house you are purchasing appraised to confirm its market value. Once the appraisal has been conducted and the report has been received by your underwriter, the final mortgage approval can often be given within a few days, with the understanding that all your mortgage conditions have been satisfied. You’ll then be ready for your closing date, on which the loan will be funded, the transaction will be complete and the house will be yours.

In total, a mortgage process where every requirement is met on time can generally take as little as two and a half weeks to complete. In urgent situations, we at Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp. have been able to close some mortgages in as short as 8 to 10 days with full cooperation from all parties.

If speed is a priority in getting your mortgage, working with a lender like us that has a reputation for timeliness is important. Our average total time for closing mortgages is about 30 days compared to the national average of around 50 days.


By knowing what to expect, planning ahead and working with an efficient and dependable lender for your mortgage, your home financing will be more likely to reach a speedy completion. This means less work, less stress and a better chance of securing your dream home.